Temple Barr is planning her wedding to Matt Divine. Matt is still unsure whether it will work out – there are some evil men who are threatening him and his future happiness. There are two caches of money missing here in Las Vegas – one from the old Irish Republic Army and one stolen by a gangster a few decades ago before the mobs lost control in Vegas. Max Kinsella could regain his memory and want Temple back – who would she choose? If the wedding is not stopped, there is still the future. Does Matt want to take the television counseling show offered to him in Chicago? Or should he keep his radio show and stay in Las Vegas where Temple is established in her career? Midnight Louie could give him some advice, but Matt doesn’t speak cat. Louie has his own problem – where is he going to live once his roommate marries Matt? That king size bed barely fits petite Temple and his own marvelous ebony body to be able to share with Matt as well.
Cat in an Alphabet Endgame is the 28th and final book in Carole Nelson Douglas’ Midnight Louie Alphacat series. Like the other books in the series, Cat in an Alphabet Endgame is light and humorous even while dealing with bad guys and death and love triangles and illegitimate children and robbers and weddings and alley cats and retired mob bosses and policemen. Readers of the series will enjoy all the threads being pulled together into the final fabric of the story.
If you haven’t read the earlier books, Cat in an Alphabet Endgame isn’t the place to start. Each book in the Midnight Louie series is in two intertwined parts: 1. a mystery per book that is solved by Midnight Louie and Temple with help of their friends and 2. the over arching story of Temple Barr and her loves and frienemies. We met them in Cat in an Alphabet Soup (fka Catnap) while Max was Temple’s missing other and Matt was the new guy (and ex-priest) next door. Enduring characters start appearing immediately, including Electra Lark, Temple and Matt’s landlady, and Lt. Carmen Molina, a homicide detective investigating Max.
If you decide to read the books, they’re all easy to read cozy mysteries, some better than others. These are escapism novels and quick to enjoy.
Cat in an Alphabet Endgame is an uneven read, especially in the first third. Douglas has so many past plot points to pull in and characters to explain that her wording gets unwieldy at times. Although she has Louie give a synopsis at the beginning of Cat in an Alphabet Endgame, parts and pieces still need to be referred to as the story comes together.
By the half way point all past explanations are pretty much out of the way and the story becomes fairly straightforward. Cat in an Alphabet Endgame brings together the mysteries and the romance and settles all the characters, including Louie and his clowder of cats. Most of the conflict and Temple’s wedding occur in the first three quarters, then there are the final ties that need to be made. This is a cozy mystery, so the bad guys from the series get put away and everyone lives happily ever after.
Well, most of these characters live happily ever after. But this is Las Vegas…